Alexander Flores (R), a relative political newcomer in Washington County, has raised just over $150,000 in cash and in-kind donations for his campaign for State Senate District 15. If you compare that to the roughly $21,000 raised by Democratic opponent and incumbent Chuck Riley, you might assume that Flores has widespread support in the district. In an April 11, 2018 press release Flores claimed to have built an “unparalleled grassroots organization.” What we found instead is that just under half of Flores’ donations ($74,842.19) was from The Leadership Fund, a PAC run by the Republican leadership in Oregon’s State Senate.  Currently, it is controlled by Jackie Winters, the Oregon Senate Minority Leader who represents District 10, and Fred Girod, an Oregon State Senator[…] seems designed to make local state senate candidate Monte Akers unappealing to Republican voters, because it was designed to make him unappealing to Republican voters—and it was funded by a Republican interest group. looks like an official candidate website, but it doesn’t really have any content other than an out-of-context quote from a Hillsboro Signal article, used to make Akers, a Republican, look like an ardent supporter of tax increases. Here’s Caleb Diehl, writing for Infighting in the Republican Party primaries reached a new level a week ago. The Senate Republicans’ Leadership Fund, a political action committee that finances Republican candidates for Senate, set up a website masquerading as the campaign site for Senate candidate Monte Akers, a Republican[…]

I’ve been the only journalist at Hillsboro City Council meetings for a couple of months now, so far as I can tell. Which is odd, because this is a city of 100,000 people, the economic engine of the state, and I’m just a citizen journalist. I’m a volunteer. I have no budget, no advertisers, and no desire to build a business model. I started doing this a year ago as an experiment, and it’s one I plan to continue. But I haven’t had much success generating interest, probably because I’m a better blogger than I am a promoter. The City of Hillsboro, meanwhile, is very good at getting its own point of view across. During a recent city council meeting[…]

It’s one thing to hear local politicians brag about the economic growth here in Hillsboro; it’s quite another to read newspaper editorial boards in other cities outright complain about it. But that’s what an editorial in the Evertt Herald does this week. Arguing for tax incentives for data centers, the editorial says Hillsboro’s initiatives are attracting investments that previously would have gone to Washington state. As recently as 2011, Washington state was considered the data center hub of the Pacific Northwest, benefiting from that inexpensive electricity but also its proximity to Amazon, Microsoft and other leaders in information technology. But data center construction has slowed in the state’s rural areas and lags even more in the state’s suburban areas closest[…]

Bonnie Kooken, Orenco resident for 50 years and fierce advocate for preserving the historic Orenco townsite, passed away on February 2. She was 81. Mayor Steve Calaway spoke of her passing during this week’s city council; you can read his entire statement here. A quote: Our community lost one of its champions this month with the unexpected passing of Bonnie Kooken. A resident of Hillsboro’s Old Orenco neighborhood for more than 50 years, Bonnie was a charter member and current chair of the City of Hillsboro’s Historic Landmarks Advisory Committee. He continues: Every Hillsboro resident benefits from Bonnie’s influence and community-building efforts. Driven by her commitment to preserving the land that is home to Orenco Woods Nature Park, Bonnie and[…]

You probably noticed: the signs welcoming you back to Hillsboro now have a six digit population. 100,000 people call this city home—in 1990 it was only 40,000. Growth has been consistent since then, give or take the great recession. I moved here in 2015, so I’m not a longtime resident. And yet even I’ve seen several empty lots near my home turn into high-density housing seemingly overnight. The rate of change is staggering, and with 20,000 people likely to live in South Hillsboro that’s only going to accelerate. I’ve been thinking of this more often since a zoning dispute in the old Orenco townsite came up during a city council meeting a few weeks ago. Residents near a now-vacant lot[…]

Hillsboro Signal is a volunteer digital media organization exclusively dedicated to the city of Hillsboro, Oregon. Currently we offer coverage of the Hillsboro City Council and the Hillsboro School Board, in realtime on Twitter and with more depth on our website. We also offer a community calendar outlining what’s going on in the city on any given day. All of this happens without advertising, subscriptions, or revenue of any kind. But we want to do more, and we need you to do it. We’re looking for volunteers to help build a media brand in this city, and hopefully also build a community of journalists and activists dedicated to making Hillsboro a better place. If you think you can help, please[…]

I spent the first year of my career covering local politics in Peace River, Alberta, a small town of 6,000 five hours north of Edmonton. It was a formative experience for me, and since moving to the states I’ve told everyone who will listen that local politics is the antidote to feeling jaded about the political process. Local politics is where the decisions that affect you most are made, and it’s also where you have the most potential influence. Sadly, the latest national drama has a tendency of drowning out local issues. I know it did for me, particularly in 2016. I’ve told people to care about local politics for years, but if I’m honest I’ve rarely put much thought[…]